In three days I will be back at Duke, ending the longest break I’ve taken from the blue devil land. For the first time, I have truly missed Duke. In many ways, I’m glad I had left it long enough to miss it so much. If it was not for England, I would not have realized how much I love Duke until 2010 fall, and by then it will be too late. At least now, I can still come back, for 1.5 more years. Life goes by too fast, and I take too many things (important things) and people for granted, thank goodness for the reminders.
These three weeks have been amazing. There was not a single extraordinary event, but rather a series of lovely gatherings, many pieces of smiling memories, dozens of mochas, and countless games of bridge. From the first Sunday when I saw Anne running towards my apartment with open arms, quite literally I kid you not, to watching iron chef at Jordan’s place, this winter break has been everything I could have ever asked for. I always hear people in college telling me how bored they get at home and I always smile inside thinking of the wonderful group of friends I have here in Cleveland. Sure, college has changed all of us, has changed the dynamic within our group, but we are all still friends, some a bit closer, some not so much, but what I love is that we can all still talk to one other, hang out together with so much ease. So despite the better clothes we wear, the respective college pride in college sports (ranging from lukewarm to hardcore), and only seeing each other two seasons out of four, we are still friends. We have all grown up a bit, though in half a dozen different cities and campuses across the eastern half of US (strange none of us ended up on West coast, though that will change this semester) and sometimes even on other continents, we have somehow managed to stay in touch and not fall apart through blogs, emails, phone calls, skype, and semi-annual parties.
So let me recount the past three weeks…
Bridging at my house, bridging at Anne’s, poker games bettting on coffee and movie tickets, five-course dinner at rui’s that turned into three course that started with a chaos but ended beautifully and the strange french movie collage thing, many shopping trips, commuting between beachwood, cleveland and solon, yingrui’s party and failing at pool miserably, massive picture taking, bowling at solon, movies at Shaker square, eating at Panera’s, inevitable trips to Border’s, Kings at Anne’s, GETTING WAY LOST IN THE GHETTOS OF CLEVELAND AND SCARED OUT OF OUR MINDS, epicly failing at finding a college night in a club, freezing our butts off when the temperature droped to the teens, going to the special exhibition of fabrege, tiffany, and lalique at Cleveland Art Museum, snow fight b/t anne and han afterward and losing feelings in our feet, nose, hands, and suffering from near hypo-thermia, frantically looking for wine glasses and making the new year’s toast 1 minute late drinking Wu Liang Ye because we failed at getting champagne and we are chinese, watching world poker tournament, mtv’s richest cribs, and iron chef at Jordan’s and everyone ending up being hungry for red snappers.
and now I’m sitting here in my room, with a rare sun peaking through the clouds and beaming through my blinds. Surprisingly, this is the first time I’ve had an extended period of alone time since I’ve been back. As much as I love to be in the company of my friends and Han, sometimes I just want to be alone and let my mind wonder on its own, uninterrupted by another soul. I think that’s one thing I have missed in this break, the time to be alone and reflective. One of the saddest things about going to college is the loss of my habbit of reading novels. I remember senior year I used to sit in my office and just read for hours while listening to music. I miss that kind of absorption, I miss the ability to enter so completely into another world and abandone this one, if only for a few hours. Now the break is almost over, I have to start ordering textbooks again and try not to worry about moving in, somehow getting all my stuff from a friend’s house in DC, and getting off those waitlists.
Having completed half of my college career, I’ve finally come to realize there is no point in stressing out about things or worrying about them. Yes, there are always lots of lots of things to be done. If you want, the stress level can shoot through the roof every week, but it’s also quite manageable. After taking classes from more than half a dozen departments and having gotten three different letters of grades, I have finally learned (I hope) how to balance my interests, ambitions, and the university requirements. So I’m looking forward to making the most out of my remaining years at Duke and having a great time. There will be LSAT classes, lots of reading, writing, more summer plans searching, meetings, and the occasional complaing and whining, but it will be all good, because beyond them, there are the free (or almost free) movies, friends, outings, southpoint, weekends, waduke, and parties 🙂
So here’s to an awesome break, my imminent return to Duke, and an awesome new year! Cheers.
New Year’s Resolutions: Maximum achievements, minimum stress. Maximum enjoyment, minimum worries.